Study Notes

2Timothy 3:16-17


Paul has been telling Timothy that people will speculate about the truth and believe wrong things about the truth. People will argue about the truth. People will be haters of the truth, and oppose the truth. He tells Timothy to continue on in the truth, saying,

2Tim. 3:14-15 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Now, he continues that thought in verse 16.

3:16-17 All Scripture Is Inspired

All Scripture is inspired by God. All of it. The proverb says,

Prov. 30:5-6 Every word of God is tested...

Jesus said,


Every word of the Bible is there by the inspiration of God.

But of course, skeptics have always abounded. People who doubt that the Word of God is really the Word of God.

A perfect example is the group called the Jesus Seminar. This group began in 1985 with 30 so-called "scholars" (now over 200), with the supposed mission of exploring the "historic Jesus." Of course, what they had really set out to do was to convince the rest of the world that their unbelief in the Bible was valid. They have examined the words and works of Jesus as written in the Bible, and voted on what was really true. Using colored beads, they vote on passages of Scripture. Regarding the works of Jesus, a red bead means that "the historical reliability of this information is virtually certain. It is supported by a preponderance of evidence." A pink bead means that "this information is probably reliable. It fits well with other evidence that is verifiable." A gray bead means that "this information is possible but unreliable. It lacks supporting evidence." And finally, a black bead states that "this information is improbable. It does not fit verifiable evidence; it is largely or entirely fictive."

The same system is used for assessing the words of Jesus:

"Red: Jesus undoubtedly said this or something very like it.

Pink: Jesus probably said something like this.

Gray: Jesus did not say this, but the ideas contained in it are close to his own.

Black: Jesus did not say this; it represents the perspective or content of a later or different tradition."

Then they published "The Gospel of Jesus - According to the Jesus Seminar," which makes the audacious claim, "What would a truly original gospel look like—a gospel cleared of the interpretation and embellishment of the evangelists, a gospel that contained only the words and deeds of the historical Jesus? The Gospel of Jesus is that gospel."

These people have truly personified what the book of Romans says,

Rom. 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Lots of people will claim that they don't accept the Bible as the Word of God, and give many reasons - some ludicrous, some very intellectual-sounding. But the fact is, their rejection of the Word is really based on one thing: if the Word of God is true, then they're accountable for what it says.

I've never met a person that said, "I really want to know God, but I'm not sure that I can trust the Bible." And if they are out there, I imagine that that's a good place to be. After all, the Lord said,

Deut. 4:29 "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find {Him} if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

If a person is coming from that direction, it is certainly simple enough to prove that God wrote the Bible, and that every detail is accurate. Whether you approach it from archaeology, history, science, or prophecy, the Bible is always 100% right, 100% of the time.

As a matter of fact, my own conversion to Christianity was as a result of being shown in a simple, intellectual manner that God was outside of time, and writing down the future long before it happened. That proved to me that God existed and that I was accountable to Him.

So, because all Scripture is inspired by God, we have to ask ourselves what is it here for?

God has written a book, sent us message, mailed a letter for us to read. The words in it speak directly to us - to our hearts, to our situations, to our lives right where we're at.

Saints, the Scripture is so valuable, we should - we must - pay close attention to it. There are so many things that it addresses - answers to life's questions, solutions for today's problems. Indeed, it is profitable for many things - and Paul makes a list here.


The first value that Paul lists regarding the profit of Scripture is teaching. There is a lot of teaching happening in the world today, and much of what is being taught is wrong. Your children are being taught that evolution is truth. Your teenagers are being taught that sexuality is something to be freely explored, without the confines of morality. Your neighbors are being taught that good is bad and bad is good.

Even the church is being taught worldly ideas that are not from Scripture. But if Paul says that all Scripture is profitable for teaching, then that's what I want to teach! I know the value that teaching Scripture has. I know the profit that it produces in your life.

I know that when I teach you the Word of God, that you are:

- learning more about how much God loves you

- understanding more about God's plans for you

- gaining knowledge to answer questions that people approach you with

- being protected from cults and false teachers.

Reproof & Correction

Now, the Word is not just for teaching. It is also for reproof and correction. We all have times that we need to be set straight, to be directed back onto the right path.

The Word of God is profitable for bringing a brother or sister to the mirror of the truth and saying, "do you see what you're doing to yourself? Do you see how you're hurting this other person? Do you understand that this is sin that needs to be repented of?"

James wrote,

James 5:19-20 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.

Saints, when someone comes to you in love and mercifully shows you in the Word where you are doing wrong, they are demonstrating the heart of God. They desire repentance for you - not so that they can be right, but so that you will be saved from death, and your sins covered.

Training In Righteousness

The Word is also profitable for training in righteousness. When you read or hear the Word of God, the definition of righteousness quickly becomes evident to you.

- You understand what God is desiring in your life

- You see the example of Jesus in his words and deeds.

- You see the precedent set by normal people who desired to live righteously.

There is no better training for righteousness than the Word of God.


If you are taught the Word, reproved and corrected by the Word, and trained in righteousness by the Word, then you are adequate. Nowadays, the word adequate sounds like somewhere between "fair" and "poor." But the word in Greek means "complete." In other words, if you are learned in, corrected by, and trained with the Scriptures, that's all you need to be completely equipped as a Christian. You don't need any other books or videos. You don't need a seminary degree, and you don't need to attend a seminar. All you need is the Word of God.

Peter wrote,

2Pet. 1:3 ...His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him...

The Word is the vehicle that God uses to teach us, to speak to us, to educate us, to set standards for us. We find the true knowledge of Him through the Bible. And that true knowledge of Him gives us everything we need for life and godliness.

Equipped For Every Good Work

When we're complete with the Word, we're fully equipped. Equipped for every good work. And that is the purpose of the church: equipping the saints for the work by educating the saints with the Word.

This is why Paul wrote,

Eph. 4:11-13 And He gave some {as} apostles, and some {as} prophets, and some {as} evangelists, and some {as} pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith...

My job is to equip you. If I simply telling funny stories, show you a video, talk about the political convention, or the latest news on TV, you're not being equipped by the Word.

When the apostle Paul knew that he would never be in Ephesus again, he called the elders together for a final meeting. He gave them a very moving farewell address.

He said,

Acts 20:22-26 "And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day, that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose (counsel) of God.

Paul had equipped the Ephesians with all the Scriptures.

I hope that someday when I'm lying on my deathbed, or in my parting speech, that I will be able to say the same thing: "Saints, I taught you every Word in the Bible. You know the Lord, you know what He's spoken. You're fully equipped to do His will."

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